Here are a dozen top books of 2012, as recommended by News Shopper readers.

All of them are, in their own way, great reads according to people who have already enjoyed them.

They were recommended, some of them multiple times, during a recent competition with Waterstones in which we asked people to nominate their favourite books of the year.

We were inundated with entries and have selected 12 of the most interesting and popular responses to feature here – think of them as the 12 books of Christmas, or maybe a new book to discover every month during 2013.

As avid readers will note, not all of these were strictly speaking first published in the past year but they are still all novels which our readers reckon you should check out if you like nothing more than grabbing your e-reader or, heaven forbid, a real book and getting engrossed in a good story.

Scroll down after this list of novels to find some other Christmas gift ideas for book lovers.

Charlotte Street by Danny Wallace

Danny Wallace is my favourite author and never fails to make an entertaining book! He keeps you in suspense throughout the whole book and he leads up to things with dramatic effect. It’s just a top read and will be reading it again soon! - Sarah Armstrong, age 25, Beckenham – Sarah was the winner of our top books of 2012 competition after her entry was picked at random from those received, and she will win a bundle of books from Waterstones

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

News Shopper: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The most imaginative book this year and loved the setting of a magical circus which can disappear one day and reappear somewhere across the country or even the world overnight. A wonderful book with characters who seemed like friends by the end and really didn’t want it to finish. - Joanne Liddement, age 46

Tom-All-Alone's by Lynn Shepherd

It's an atmospheric tale of Victorian London, recreating the poverty of the slums in a murder mystery that gives more than a nod to Dickens' Bleak House and throws in a healthy dash of Wilkie Collins' seminal detective story The Woman in White. It's gripping, beautifully written and has a fiendishly twisting plotline. - Geoff Williams, age 58, Bromley

Me Before You by JoJo Moyes

It's a long time since a book has made me cry floods of tears and laugh out loud. Euthanasia and care of quadriplegics are hardly usual subjects for fiction but this was dealt with so sensitively and lightly that the reader was thoroughly drawn in. It's compassionate and warm and surprisingly uplifting as well as being life-affirming. I loved how the two main characters are so different and their relationship changes them both. A fab read. - Kate Sing'ombe, age 39, Orpington

News Shopper: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Citdel By Kate Mosse

I love the way the author brings all the storylines together into a neat and sense-making end. I am very fond of big epic stories that I can really get my teeth into as I read at least two books a week. Citadel did not disappoint - it was haunting, courageous, daring and with lots of surprises and twists. I would definitely recommend this book. - Samantha Cook, age 25, Bromley

The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

News Shopper: The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

The story features a 100-year-old gentleman who climbs out of the window of his room in an old people's home and goes on an unexpected journey. The reader is taken on an adventure with a new twist on every page - a fantastic mixture of humour, sadness and quirkiness, with truly likeable characters, and never a dull moment! Plus there's an elephant - what more could you want from a book? - Lara Hammond, age 22, Petts Wood

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Even though The Hunger Games was sold to me as a younger person’s book, I thoroughly enjoyed both the excitement of the Games and the main characters struggling with the emotional traumas of leaving family and friends and then fighting for their lives to return to their loved ones. The developing friendships and feelings between contestants was also interesting to follow. I also appreciated the underlying current of how people can be controlled and swept along by power and corruption. A really enjoyable, easy to read book that you can think about and delve into more if you wish, but it's not essential! - Jenny Clarke, age 34

50 Shades of Grey by EL James

News Shopper: Fifty Shades of Grey the first of the books by EL James

I never imagined it would be my kind of book but I was surprised. I absolutely loved them, mostly because of Christian’s beautiful words and love towards Ana. Love conquers all and bondage aside you could see his adoration and healing process thanks to her. - Sarah Rees, age 25

The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling

The reason it is my top book of 2012 is because it is a solid, traditional English novel and I love the fact the characters share a resemblance to the characters in the Harry Potter books (the best novels of all time!). I found it an intelligent and funny read. - Jessica Stokes, age 21

IQ84 by Haruki Murakami

The book (well, trilogy of books) are brilliant, absorbing and epic. Murakami’s writing flows and ebbs. Quite simply a joy to read. - Adrian Paine, age 40

On The Road by Jack Keroac

News Shopper: On The Road by Jack Keroac

It’s a huge cliché, but I can't even begin to describe how this book affected and changed me, both emotionally and in my own personal outlook. In my opinion, this is how heartfelt literature should be - enigmatic, intuitive and inventful. Never before has a book propelled me from my sedentary life and encouraged me to seek the fun often hidden in plain sight. - Jason Guthrie, age 21

Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel

The anticipation after reading Wolf Hall and the relief at reading Bring up the Bodies and seeing history brought vividly to life and at that a history covering the downfall of Anne Boleyn which I find fascinating. Hilary Mantel's insight and bringing into life the mind of Thomas Cromwell is breathtaking. - Petra Gallagher, age: 47

Other Christmas gift ideas for book lovers:

Writing is on the wall

Spineless Classics sell whole book texts on a poster- a very quirky concept which will provide an immediate talking point as soon as anyone sees one of them.

They have a huge range of posters from Pride and Prejudice to The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland.

News Shopper: The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland Spineless Classics poster

The novels-as-posters would look great in any room of the house, while others would suit an office such as The Haynes Manual for a car enthusiast.

There are plenty of children’s classics which would look lovely in a nursery.

Prints start at £32.99 and the full range can be seen at

Brain teasers

Test your puzzle-solving powers and quiz skills with two great series of books from Collins.

The Quiz Books and Little Books ranges each feature beautiful little notebook style books covering a wide range of subjects.

You can see how your general knowledge shapes up by taking on the thousands of trivia questions in the Pub Quiz and Quiz Night books.

News Shopper: The Collins Quiz Books

For sports buffs there are yet more thousands of questions contained within the Sports Quiz, Cricket Quiz and Football Quiz books.

The two series also contain Su Doku, word searches, bridge secrets and Christmas games.

The Collins books are priced £5.99 and £6.99. See

Having a laugh

Britain’s best selling current affairs magazine, Private Eye, has released two books: Eyeballs and the Private Eye Annual 2012.

Published for the very first time, Eyeballs combines the best of two of the Eye’s most popular and entertaining columns - Commentatorballs and Dumb Britain.

News Shopper: Private Eye Annual 2012

In a year that has seen inquiries, royal indiscretions, Olympic and jubilee celebrations and much more, the Private Eye Annual 2012 presents the best of the magazine’s satirical wit.

Read all about it

Various tablet computers make good e-readers but if you are looking to treat someone to a device which specialises in books the Kobo Glo is a good possibility to consider.

Costing just under £100, the Kobo Glo is a rival to Amazon’s regular Kindle and Kindle Paperwhite.

Heavily backed by WH Smith, it’s a very lightweight and compact device which provides a clear front-lit E Ink touch-screen display.

News Shopper: Kobo Glo e-reader

The Kobo Glo has 2GB of internal memory and can hold around 1,000 books. This can be expanded up to 32GB and storage for up to 30,000 books with a Micro SD card.

The device has built-in wi-fi so whenever you’re connected you can jump into the ebook store where you can browse millions of titles, which include newspapers and magazines as well as many free books.

A 1GHz processor helps the Kobo Glo to run smoothly, and it’s also very customisable with an adjustable light and your choice of seven font types and 24 font sizes. See